Alliance the buzzword as President Droupadi invites Narendra Modi | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Alliance the buzzword as President Droupadi invites Narendra Modi

Jun 08, 2024 05:05 AM IST

Modi will take oath as Prime Minister at 7.15pm on Sunday on the premises of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

President Droupadi Murmu on Friday appointed Narendra Modi as Prime Minister and invited him to form the next government hours after he was formally elected the leader of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) parliamentary party and leader of the Lok Sabha, setting the stage for a record-equalling third straight term at the helm of the world’s largest democracy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the media at Rashtrapati Bhavan after being invited to form the Union government by President Droupadi Murmu in New Delhi on June 7.(Raj K Raj/HT photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the media at Rashtrapati Bhavan after being invited to form the Union government by President Droupadi Murmu in New Delhi on June 7.(Raj K Raj/HT photo)

Modi will take oath as Prime Minister at 7.15pm on Sunday on the premises of Rashtrapati Bhavan. Along with him, other Cabinet ministers will be sworn in, and the list of the names will be sent to Rashtrapati Bhavan over the course of the weekend.

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As Modi staked claim, with “alliance” and “consensus” the buzzwords of his noon address at the old Parliament building’s Central Hall, leaders of the NDA huddled at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief JP Nadda’s residence in the evening, possibly discussing Cabinet berths and other appointments. Hectic negotiations have dominated the last two days in the Capital.

Also Read | Congress calls NDA ‘Nitish/Naidu dependent alliance’

“Having regard to the fact that yours is the single-largest party and the largest pre-election alliance and taking note of the letters of support from the constituent parties of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) enabling you to command majority support of the newly constituted 18th Lok Sabha, I have the pleasure to appoint you as the Prime Minister of India in exercise of powers conferred on me under Article 75(1) of the Constitution of India,” said the letter from Murmu to Modi.

In the afternoon, a delegation of the NDA led by Nadda called on the President at 2.30pm and handed over a letter stating that Modi was elected as leader of the BJP parliamentary party. Letters of support from NDA constituents were also handed over by the delegation that included Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Ashwini Vaishnaw, N Chandrababu Naidu, Nitish Kumar, Eknath Shinde, HD Kumaraswamy, Chirag Paswan, Jitan Ram Manjhi, Pawan Kalyan, Ajit Pawar, Anupriya Patel and Jayant Chaudhary, among others

“The President requested Narendra Modi to indicate the date and time of the swearing-in-ceremony to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan and also advise her about the names of other persons to be appointed as members of the Union council of ministers,” said a statement released by Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Also Read | What the verdict holds for the BJP, its mascot, Modi

Modi’s BJP emerged as the single-largest party in the recently concluded general elections but saw its tally drop almost 60 seats to 240, below the majority mark of 272. With allies such as the Janata Dal (United), Telugu Desam Party and Shiv Sena, and a clutch of smaller partners, the NDA is comfortably placed to form the government. Modi will become only the second man after Jawaharlal Nehru to achieve three consecutive terms as PM.

“The President called me just now and asked me to work as the PM designate and she has informed me about the oath ceremony. I have told the President that we will be comfortable on the evening of the 9th of June,” Modi said outside Rashtrapati Bhavan.

“NDA will form a strong, stable and growth-oriented government.”

Modi said that the list of the council of ministers will be presented to the President ahead of the oath ceremony. “I thank the people for giving us the opportunity. I want to assure countrymen that development work will continue as before. 25 crore people have been taken out of poverty. It is a matter of pride for every Indian,” he said.

A little past noon, in the magnificent Samvidhan Sabha, the erstwhile central hall of Parliament, the PM bowed before the Constitution and was welcomed with a thunderous applause. Members raised slogans of “Modi, Modi” and thumped their desks. Party president JP Nadda’s welcome address was followed by Rajnath Singh moving the resolution to elect Modi as the leader of the BJP and NDA parliamentary party and the leader of the Lok Sabha.

Singh said Modi was the best suited for the position and described the NDA as a family that “upholds coalition dharma”.

“The NDA family has grown due to Modiji’s leadership, efficiency and vision. Since the time of (former PM Vajpayee) Atal ji, the NDA has been identified as a family that upholds coalition dharma. For us, coalition is not a compulsion but a commitment,” he said.

Union ministers Amit Shah and Nitin Gadkari who seconded the resolution, also highlighted how the election of Modi as the leader was not just the wish of the NDA partners, but that of 1.4 million Indians.

In his speech, Modi struck an assertive tone even as he spoke about building consensus and attacked the Opposition over electronic voting machines.

“Na hum hare the, na hare hain’ (We were neither defeated nor are we defeated). But our behaviour after the 4th of June (when results were announced) shows our identity... We know how to digest victory. Our values are such that we do not get over excited in the lap of victory and neither do we have the values of mocking the defeated,” he said.

Lashing out at the Congress, Modi said that even after 10 years, the party couldn’t touch the figure of 100 seats. “If we combine the 2014, 2019 and 2024 elections, Congress did not even get as many seats as the BJP got in these elections. I can clearly see the people of the INDI alliance were sinking slowly earlier, now they are going to sink at a fast pace,” he said.

Modi said the NDA reflects the true sense of India’s spirit with its presence in tribal-dominated states and also the northeast. “Our path is sarv panth sambhav (respect for all religions)...in Goa or the North-East, where our Christian brothers and sisters are in large numbers, we have our governments.”

Striking a conciliatory tone, Modi said consensus will be the hallmark of the NDA and described it as the “most successful alliance in India’s history”.

Assuaging concerns that all views will be taken on board, Modi spoke about debate and discussion before decision-making.

“Majority is needed for running the government, but sarvamat (consensus) is required for running the country.” He said it is the responsibility of the allies to use consensus for taking the country forward.

Modi said that the coalition did not come together to grab power, but was an “organic alliance” committed to the principle of “nation first”. Modi also exuded confidence about the longevity of the alliance and said that the coalition of members with a record of good governance will write new chapters of good governance in the next 10 years .

Leaders of the coalition partners also endorsed Modi’s leadership and were effusive in praise.

Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar, who first parted ways with the NDA in 2013 after opposing Modi’s elevation as the PM candidate, was effusive in his praise. He even bowed to show respect to the PM after finishing his speech.

“For 20 years he has served the country, and I am confident that whatever is left he will now complete it. We will be with him at every step,” Kumar said. He also drew laughs when he predicted that the Opposition will not win as many seats in the next general election as it currently had.

TDP’s Chandrababu Naidu, who has also pledged support to the NDA, described Modi as the “right leader at the right time.” He credited Modi’s rallies and public addresses for “making a huge difference” in Andhra Pradesh where the NDA is all set to form the government.

“We are very confident, under his leadership India will become either one or two globally,” Naidu said. In 2018, the TDP chief walked out of the NDA in protest against the delay in granting special status to the state that was carved out into two, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Modi later met BJP veterans LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi at their residences on Friday, in a throwback to the coalition years of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. “Went to Advani ji’s residence and sought his blessings. Every BJP karyakarta is inspired by Advani ji’s monumental efforts to strengthen the party,” Modi later said in a post on X. Modi also met former president Ram Nath Kovind.

He also had a word of caution for newly elected MPs and urged them not to fall victim to fake news or to believe anyone with news about their inclusion in the Cabinet. “People may approach and call you with claims that you have been allotted a Cabinet berth. Today’s advanced technology may also lead to release of documents with my digital signatures. But, you must not believe them...The country cannot run on breaking news,” he said.

The Congress mocked the PM and called him one-third PM, with Naidu and Kumar making up the other two-thirds. “The BJP parliamentary party did not meet but the NDA appointed one-third PM in advance. This was done because Narendra Modi was not sure whether the elected MPs of the BJP would choose him as their leader or not,” senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said.

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